Top Anti-Drug Researcher Changes His Mind, Says Legalize Marijuana

Dr. Donald Tashkin, expert on marijuana and lung health, has called for the legalization of marijuana.Dr. Donald Tashkin, expert on marijuana and lung health, has called for the legalization of marijuana.For 30 years, Donald Tashkin has studied the effects of marijuana on lung function. His work has been funded by the vehemently anti-marijuana National Institute on Drug Abuse, which has long sought to demonstrate that marijuana causes lung cancer. After 3 decades of anti-drug research, here’s what Tashkin has to say about marijuana laws:

“Early on, when our research appeared as if there would be a negative impact on lung health, I was opposed to legalization because I thought it would lead to increased use and that would lead to increased health effects,” Tashkin says. “But at this point, I’d be in favor of legalization. I wouldn’t encourage anybody to smoke any substances. But I don’t think it should be stigmatized as an illegal substance. Tobacco smoking causes far more harm. And in terms of an intoxicant, alcohol causes far more harm.” [McClatchy]

We’ve been told a thousand times that marijuana destroys your lungs, that it’s 5 times worse than cigarettes, and on and on. Yet here is Donald Tashkin, literally the top expert in the world when it comes to marijuana and lung health, telling us it’s time to legalize marijuana. His views are shaped not by ideology, but rather by the 30 years he spent studying the issue. He didn’t expect the science to come out in favor of marijuana, but that’s what happened and he’s willing to admit it.

Here’s the study that really turned things around:

UCLA’s Tashkin studied heavy marijuana smokers to determine whether the use led to increased risk of lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. He hypothesized that there would be a definitive link between cancer and marijuana smoking, but the results proved otherwise.”What we found instead was no association and even a suggestion of some protective effect,” says Tashkin, whose research was the largest case-control study ever conducted.

Prejudice against marijuana and smoking in general runs so deep for many people that it just seems inconceivable that marijuana could actually reduce the risk of lung cancer. But that’s what the data shows and it not only demolishes a major tenet of popular anti-pot propaganda, but also points towards a potentially groundbreaking opportunity to develop cancer cures through marijuana research.

Over and over again, all the bad things we’ve been told about marijuana are revealed to be not only false, but often the precise opposite of the truth. So the next time someone tells you that marijuana is worse for your lungs than cigarettes, you might want to mention that the world’s leading expert on that subject happens to be a supporter of legalization.

– Article from Stop the Drug War (DRCNet).



  1. J.G.MacNeil on

    No doubt, the scientists will eventually find out that marijuana is one of the most important plants on the planet for it’s health benefits, if they don’t know that already. If a plant is so good for some people that doctors prescribe for it to be grown and smoked, then it’s only common sense that the politicians would also have that same knowledge as those doctors who are essentially working for them in the government system. That means that health concerns are not the reason for the prohibition but that partisan issues are the reason. And if marijuana is illegal solely because of partisan issues then anyone involved in perpetuating that partisan prohibition, simply as a delaying tactic, is the criminal and will ultimately be responsible before the law.

  2. End the Prohibition on

    In this country the majority are ruled by the minority, and they will not listen to ideas like these from anybody. When Dr. Tashkin opposed legalization our leaders would quote his work all over the country but now he favors it you won’t hear them mention his name. the rest of us, he has joined “the fringe”.

    Marijuana should be legalized not because it’s so safe but because its prohibition is so deadly. 17 people a day die as a direct result of the prohibition. That’s 17 lives taken by the cartels every single day for no good reason.

    After seventy years of prohibition there are currently 15 million marijuana users in this country – the prohibition does NOT reduce marijuana use. Today 17 people will die for nothing!

    When we legalize the production and sale of marijuana to adults we’ll rid our schools of drug dealers and end the cartel murders. Tell your legislators today to end the prohibition!

  3. Anonymous on

    alright can Obama legalized marijuana now,and stop holding science hostage to poltics,like he said?The science clearly votes in favor of it.Also i don’t want to ever hear again there have not been enough studies ,because this proves it has been being studied for 30 years now and this is that man findings ,that’s good for you ,OMG ,exactly what we have been saying all along ,and it might cure cancer wow ,we knew that too.Chalk one up for Rick Simspon in Canada.

  4. goerge lenard on

    Legalize it? Harper wants give 40% of the people in Canada a criminal record. Refer Madness is alive and well with the Prime Minister!